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Review of Madurai Sundar

 

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Review of Madurai Sundar's 2012 Navaratri Concert by Nurani C. Shivaram Troy, MI

A pleasing and soulful concert

Madurai Sunderís Carnatic music concert, under the aegis of Great Lake Aradhana Committee held on 6th October 2012 in the Baratiya Temple auditorium in celebration of Navarathri festival was a very pleasing and soulful one. The turnout was for the concert was pretty good, and over 250 music lovers sat through the concert with rapt attention and applauded each and every song.

Sunderís forte is the sruthi suddham and sahitya suddham and the selection of the songs befitting the occasion. He is a dedicated singer and puts his heart and soul into all phases whether it is raga rendering, singing the kritis, niraval or presenting the kalpana swarams in his inimitable style. I was amazed by the manner in which he sang Gana Ragas Kalyani, Kamboji and Bhairavi in quick succession. It is indeed arduous and strenuous to do this. Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar was the only musician who would churn out one gana raga after another with ease.

Right from the very first song in Kamas, Sunder built up a rapport with the audience and there was no letup in the tempo and tedium till the end.

The concert also happened to felicitate Professor Trichy Sankaran who was honored with the title Sangeetha Kalanidhi by the prestigious Music Academy Chennai, the first artiste from North America. Sri Sankaranís mridangam accompaniment was of high order and literally enhanced the overall quality of the concert. I have heard numerous concerts in which his Guru Sri Pazhani Subramania Pillai had played mridangam. Only he and Palghat Mani Iyer had the skill and ability to lift the concerts to top level with their percussion accompaniment. I had attended a concert in the year 1952 in which Palghat Mani Iyer played mridangam and Pazhani Subbudu (as he was called) played Kanjira. It was a concert of GNB and Mysore Chowdiah (violin) spread over 5 hours and there were 2 Thani Avarthanams between Mani Iyer and Subbudu. It kept the audience roaring in appreciation.

Jaishankar Balan has been displaying admirable ability and brims with confidence in accompanying eminent singers. He equaled and excelled in Sunderís intricate and impeccable kalpana swaras in kalyani, kamboji and bhairavi pieces.

Those who could not make it to the concert really missed a memorable evening. Kudos to GLAC to have come up with a great concert.

 

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